How can I minimise the risk of frozen pipes?

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How can I minimise risk of frozen pipes?

Although damage to pipes occurs when they freeze, the burst only becomes apparent when the pipe starts to thaw. This burst can lead to flooding. The damage caused by flooding in the home or workplace can cost thousands of euro to put right, and can also cause a lot of distress. These simple tips cost little to put in place but could make all the difference:

  • Wrap up pipes, water tanks and cisterns with insulation. Especially in unheated areas like attics, outbuildings and under floor spaces. Use good quality foam lagging
  • Fix any dripping taps - the gentle trickle of water can freeze and completely block a pipe
  • Let warm air circulate through the building, and occasionally leave the attic hatch open to allow warmth to enter the roof-space
  • If you are going away, consider leaving central heating on low, or turn the water supply off at the stopcock and drain the system. Make sure you know where your stopcock is.


What should I do if my pipes or tanks become frozen?

If, despite your precautions, pipes or tanks do become frozen you should consult with a professional. However the following tips may be useful:

  • Turn off the water at the mains stop cock
  • Before you start to thaw the system, remove any furniture or equipment that may get damaged by melting ice and water
  • Gently warm frozen pipes with a hairdryer or hot water bottle

 If a pipe or tank should actually burst, turn off the water at the main stopcock immediately and switch off all central heating and other water heating installations.  Let water in the system drain out by turning on all the taps, and then call in a professional plumber to make the repairs.

For more information

Irish Water Contact Details:

Twitter:  @IrishWater
Telephone: 1890 278 278 (LoCall)
Minicom:  1890 378 378
(For hearing impaired customers with minicom equipment)
Postal Address: Irish Water, PO Box 860, South City Delivery Office, Cork City

To report an issue on Water Services please contact IW (Abtran) directly on 1890 278 278 (LoCall)

Please continue to contact Dublin City Council for information or issues relating to business account queries, surface water drainage and flood management.